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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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there is no Polish Army in the U.S.S.R.   There is no new contribution
of Poland to this war.'3*
When the Anders' Army, equipped by Britain, stood in Irak ready for
the 1944 offensive^ Moscow had to find another theme^ namely^ that in
that Army there was unrest directed against the Polish Government, and
that the men were endeavouring to join the ' Polish Forces' created in
the U.S.S.R.., and, further, that these supposedly Moscow sympathisers
were being persecuted. For instance., on March 21 y the Soviet newspapers
had quoted a dispatch from the Soviet News Agency in Cairo, under the
heading " The Mediaeval Tortures in Anders' Army " :
" New and irrefutable proof is being received of the persecution of
all in General Anders* Army who express a desire to enter immediately
into the struggle against the Germans or desire solidarity with the
Polish patriots who are already fighting on the Soviet-German front."
This propaganda seemed particularly harmful and., in the end, a
British official denial was published in Cairo, on March 23, stating that :
" In connection with recent reports that all members of the Polish forces
in the Middle East under the command of General Anders, who wish to
take an active part in fighting against the Germans, are being relentlessly
persecuted, and thousands of them have disappeared and that more than
700 have been condemned to long terms of imprisonment; and, further,
that hundreds of Polish workers have been handed over in Palestine to
prison on the orders of General Anders, it is learned in authoritative British
quarters in Cairo that there is no confirmation of these reports. With the
exception of a few deserters and criminals, whose numbers do not exceed
what is normally to be expected, all members wish to" continue the struggle.
Two divisions from these who were recently in the Middle East are now in
Italy/'f
A different twist of Soviet propaganda was employed to disrupt the
Polish forces in Britain and to throw discredit on the Polish Government,
namely, the accusation of anti-Semitism. A group of Jews, Polish
* This had been widely discussed before by The Times'" Moscow correspondent.
In answer. Sir William G. Max-Aluller^ former British Ambassador to Poland^
stated in a letter to the Editor of The Times (April 25th) : " As a matter of fact, the
transfer of the Polish Army to British territory in the Middle East during the
summer of 1942 took place on the initiative of the Soviet Government and on
the ground, as they put it, that such an army might be needed for the defence of the
Middle East. It therefore conveyed quite a wrong impression to suggest that it had
any connection with the severance of diplomatic relations in 1943 or was of such a
character as to provoke resentment in Russia."
f The forces on the Italian front were simultaneously subjected to the fire of
German propaganda. Leaflets were dropped and the radio station Wandat
which the Nazis had installed in Rome, issued the same instructions and promises
as had emanated from the Soviet radio station Kosciuszko.
The Polish soldiers christened this German radio station^ * Wanda the Second.'
The star of the first Wanda (Wanda Wasilewska) had substantially waned in
Moscow. She had not published one word during the first six months of 1944,
and her name had only received occasional mention in the Soviet Press as being
still amongst the living and a " writer rather than a political figure." (The Times*
April 11th).
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